The Bonsai Grower in Winter

By Lionel Theron

Winter is the time when bonsai trees are resting and are dormant. It is also the time when bonsai growers may not feel very inclined to be outdoors in the elements, but would prefer to be sitting in front of the fire with a warm drink reading and absorbing ideas from the many bonsai books and magazines that are available. It is a time to watch the many bonsai videos that are available.



Welcome to the website of Cape Bonsai Kai where you will find out all about our club, events we are hosting and other news. Here you will also find galleries containing images from exhibitions, workshops, club meetings and more. We often post valuable information like "What to do this month" and other tips as well as many articles which will help you keep your bonsai collection healthy and you enjoying your new art form. Be sure to visit often!


About CBK

History tells us that bonsai were first displayed in South Africa at the British Empire Exhibition held in Johannesburg in 1933, where Asian exhibitors displayed their trees. Thereafter, mention is made of soldiers, returning home from the east after the Second World War, expressing interest in the beautiful trees they had seen in Japan.


Winter shelters, are they necessary?

Q: I have read of winter shelters for trees. Is this necessary for bonsai in the Cape?

A: As we in the Cape are fortunate in having a mild winter, it is not necessary to build special over-wintering places for our trees. However, in the event of prolonged winter rains, it might be advisable to shelter them from time to time, to enable the soil to dry out and so allow new air to reach the roots.


Winter pruning

by Eugenie Sohnge

According to the Chambers Dictionary PRUNING comes from OFr proignier - origin unknown; it is a transitive verb meaning to trim by lopping off superfluous parts; to remove anything superfluous from - ; to remove by pruning. For our purposes we can describe winter or maintenance pruning as a never ending cycle of replacing old with new.


The clothed lie about winter dormancy

By Carl Morrow

When one reads about bonsai activities in winter, it is quite easy to be lulled into a false sense of security that winter is a stagnant time with nothing to be done except drinking red wine, reading books and sitting next to the fire. This strikes me as being a very north European attitude where bonsai growers do have long periods of inactivity during their long winters.


Autumn and Winter Tasks

by Gail Theron

Bonsai growers tend to think that as their trees slow down towards the end of summer they can take a well earned rest, however, there is still much to do and think about.

Next Workshop

2nd September, Bishopsford Bonsai Nursery. 13h30

Contact Us

We would be happy to hear from you should you like to find out more about the club, meetings or bonsai in general.

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Year Programme

We have an exciting calendar of club meetings, events and public exhibitions planned for 2017/8.

Learn more


If your were silent

Flight of herons on dark sky...

Oh! Autumn snowflakes! ~ Sokan

Random Bonsai Tip

Straightening training wire - For those who don't know and for those who have forgotten - to straighten training wire that has been removed from a tree, grasp each end of the wire with a pair of pliers and jerk apart. Alternatively, grasping one end of the wire in a vice, and the other with pliers is much more effective as then it is possible to rub the shaft of a screwdriver up and down the wire getting rid of the small bumps.